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The Game

In-game screenshot

Transport Tycoon is a game by independent developer Chris Sawyer, who has recently had hits with RollerCoaster Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. You may not have known however that RollerCoaster Tycoon initially started life as a sequel to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, which itself was a sequel to Transport Tycoon.

So what exactly is Transport Tycoon? Transport Tycoon puts you in charge of a transport company. You start in 1930 (1950 in the Deluxe version) and have a bank loan of £100,000. You have to link up industries and towns by rail, road, air and sea to earn your fortune. Meanwhile, rival companies are competing for contracts - the AI isn't very hard to beat, however. You'll usually find it running circles around your stations - quite literally. Visit the Stupid AI section of the Church of Transport Tycoon for many examples of AI silliness.

As the game progresses, you have the opportunity to try new trains, road vehicles, planes and ships. A new train may offer a faster speed, but at the expense of power - you have to balance up the odds and decide what to do. When you reach the year 2000, a whole new type of rail becomes available, and you have to make the decision whether to upgrade to monorail or not. In some cases, you have to. Transport Tycoon Deluxe features four climates - temperate, sub-arctic, sub-tropical and Toyland - and conventional rail trains become 'extinct' soon after the introduction of monorail.

The difficulty level can be easily altered, so don't feel daunted if you are a new player. More experienced players can grapple with economic recessions and disasters (often featuring UFOs - it seems Chris Sawyer was a big fan of the X-COM games).

In recent years, the fan community have worked on several improvements and enhancements to TTD, including significant gameplay developments, new vehicle sets, entirely new graphics and sound sets, and much much more. TTDPatch, by Josef Drexler, implemented many new and exciting features, such as the aforementioned new graphics support. OpenTTD, a full reconstruction of the game, was first released in 2004 and has since become the most-played variant of Transport Tycoon, featuring the majority of the TTDPatch features and many of its own, including a comprehensive online multiplayer system!

For more information the history and basics of Transport Tycoon, check out the Transport Tycoon Semi-FAQ.

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Copyright © Owen Rudge 1999-2014. All Rights Reserved. Portions copyright © Adam Trevorrow 2001-2002.
Transport Tycoon is a trademark of 31x Ltd. Transport Tycoon graphics: copyright © 31x Ltd. 1994-2013.